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Is this discrimination re: landlord/tenant laws?
Old 10-21-2010, 06:01 PM   #1
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Is this discrimination re: landlord/tenant laws?

I had a friend call with this situation, and I didnt know what to tell her.

She called on an ad about a one bedroom apt, and she has 2 kids - boy and girls. Lady showed her the place, but upon learning she had 2 kids of different sexes, said OHIO law doesnt allow her to rent to them because they are 2 different sex kids sharing the same room. She was appalled and left.

Sound accurate at all? I can find nothing online

Sounds like a court case to me...
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Old 10-21-2010, 06:41 PM   #2
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From an Ohio organization's "fair housing and families" brochure:
www.thehousingcenter.org/.../46-Fair-Housing-and-Families-with-Children.html
Possible signs of discrimination:

"We don’t want any children here”
“Each child must have their own bedroom”
“Your children cannot use the pool”
“Children of the opposite sex cannot share a bedroom”

Court case? Doubtful. But I believe your friend could have some fun this weekend filling out complaint forms and making life miserable for these guys.
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Old 10-21-2010, 06:59 PM   #3
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I would just cross it off the list and move on. Other than some wasted time (and possibly some $ for a sitter and/or missed work) she has no real damages. Complaint forms -- there is nothing to gain, and with two kids she probably has better things to do. Who would want a landlord that was forced to rent to them because of a judgement based on a complaint?
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:20 PM   #4
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Think that 2 sexes one bedroom is an out for an Oregon landlord who doesn't want to rent to someone. One of the few allowable reasons not to rent to someone. What age cutoff would you think fair? ok to rent to a woman with M&F kids 2&3? 13 &16? see the problem?
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:24 PM   #5
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I would just cross it off the list and move on.
No argument from me if that's the direction she wants to go. Either way, I agree she shouldn't try to "fight" to live there.

One piece of advice I would give to the thefed's friend: in some way make this a "teachable moment" for the kids.

Those of us over 50, particularly those of us raised in the south, can remember why the Fair Housing Act and similar laws were passed in the 60's. Today discrimination is less prevalent - thankfully - and usually sneaky where it does exist. Kids who aren't otherwise likely to receive discrimination firsthand could learn a positive lesson that would last for a lifetime.
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Old 10-21-2010, 08:20 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Htown Harry View Post
No argument from me if that's the direction she wants to go. Either way, I agree she shouldn't try to "fight" to live there.

One piece of advice I would give to the thefed's friend: in some way make this a "teachable moment" for the kids.

Those of us over 50, particularly those of us raised in the south, can remember why the Fair Housing Act and similar laws were passed in the 60's. Today discrimination is less prevalent - thankfully - and usually sneaky where it does exist. Kids who aren't otherwise likely to receive discrimination firsthand could learn a positive lesson that would last for a lifetime.

Could you explain the lesson? It is eluding me.
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Old 10-21-2010, 10:16 PM   #7
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I can see why, ha. I wasn't as clear as I could have been.

My background: white guy, grew up in suburban Dallas in the 60's, attended all-white public schools until the courts ordered changes when I was in 6th grade. In seventh grade, my brothers and I attended a school where we were in the minority. From both schools, I learned discrimination lessons that have stayed with me.

I also have strong childhood memories of my father seeing an incident of discrimination and mistreatment and confronting it.

We all learn right and wrong from our parents, in large part. Especially in seeing their judgments and reactions to what they perceive as wrong.

My children, born in the 90's, see few tangible examples of the discrimination that existed in my childhood. Or the transformational effect that the civil rights law changes have had on many lives over the past 40 years. They read about Jim Crowe laws, red-lining and freedom marches in a textbook. Thankfully, they seem to pay attention and critically evaluate political positions taken with regard to gender or race discrimination or the occasional media flap over a comedian or politician's verbal assault on some group or another.

I am glad they have that awareness and their own developing version of what's right. what's wrong and what's "fair".

But whatever knowledge of discrimination my children have, it's largely theoretical, intangible.

thefed described his friend as appalled. One likely reason is because instances of overt discrimination are much less frequent today than in the past. Rare even.

IMHO, she also should be appalled because the apartment leasing agent is in the wrong. Even if her position wasn't a pretext for excluding a family with children from the rental (my assumption), it's not the apartment landlord's business who sleeps in which bedroom. The Cleveland housing brochure confirms that the landlord's stance is quite possibly illegal as well.

So, putting the thoughts together - this is an opportunity for the children to see what momma's gonna do about it.
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:06 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by calmloki View Post
Think that 2 sexes one bedroom is an out for an Oregon landlord who doesn't want to rent to someone. One of the few allowable reasons not to rent to someone. What age cutoff would you think fair? ok to rent to a woman with M&F kids 2&3? 13 &16? see the problem?
Nah. Mom & sis can share the bedroom, and Junior can have the sofabed.
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:36 PM   #9
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Could a landlord limit the number of people who could live in a one-bedroom apartment (or a two bedroom, or a three bedroom)? Maybe that's what happened and she misunderstood.
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:05 AM   #10
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edit: should've noted it was a 2 bedroom...not sure it matters.


talked to a fair housing advocate and he said it is definately illegal. i gave her his number and will let them go from there


of course it wouldnt be any fun to live there after the landlord tried to keep em out...but figured I'd let her talk to someone who knows the law!
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:58 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by thefed View Post
edit: should've noted it was a 2 bedroom...not sure it matters.


talked to a fair housing advocate and he said it is definately illegal. i gave her his number and will let them go from there


of course it wouldnt be any fun to live there after the landlord tried to keep em out...but figured I'd let her talk to someone who knows the law!
You said 1 BR in your first post...

I was also thinking 3 people in a 1 BR is not a great idea...
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:06 PM   #12
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I always thought landlords could limit the number of people allowed in a rental. No?
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:57 PM   #13
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I always thought landlords could limit the number of people allowed in a rental. No?
Looking last night I find I was incorrect, at least for federal fair housing law. Feds hold it is discriminatory to recognize the sexes of children that might occupy a bedroom. However, we can recognize a reasonable number of people per bedroom, see paragraph 4 here for instance.
Families with Children & Fair Housing

Not quite sure why reason suddenly rears it's head here....

Feels like political correctness is trumping reason, kind of like the way it is discriminatory to tell the young mother of 2 that you will rent her a downstairs apartment rather than an upstairs one. Not supposed to use reason to determine that the chance of one of her kids going for a tumble down the stairs is greater if they live upstairs. Landlord is just supposed to make sure he has good insurance. sigh.

I will say that there is the law and there is reality. I do what seems best to me, weighing probability and risk.
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Old 10-22-2010, 02:05 PM   #14
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My children, born in the 90's, see few tangible examples of the discrimination that existed in my childhood. Or the transformational effect that the civil rights law changes have had on many lives over the past 40 years. They read about Jim Crowe laws, red-lining and freedom marches in a textbook. Thankfully, they seem to pay attention and critically evaluate political positions taken with regard to gender or race discrimination or the occasional media flap over a comedian or politician's verbal assault on some group or another.
But whatever knowledge of discrimination my children have, it's largely theoretical, intangible.
Plenty of prejudice, though.

One of the reasons our kid chose Rice was because of the strong international/diverse student demographics. She didn't want to be at a university where the students considered it to be unusual to be from Hawaii or would come up with imaginative names for her cultural background...
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